Five actors who turned down iconic roles

Jack Nicholson

The movie business is an uncertain and fickle mistress, and many an actor has made a mistake or two in his/her career.

But while Kellan Lutz seems perfectly happy having refused the chance to play Edward Cullen in favour of his laconic but brawny brother Emmett, we'd be curious to know whether these actors feel the same way about certain decisions.

[Kellan Lutz claims he turned down Twilight lead]

Jack Nicholson
The awesome talent of Jack Nicholson can't be denied, but it's also difficult to imagine him in a role that another actor, Al Pacino, completely made his own - Michael Corleone in The Godfather.

Speaking of his decision, Nicholson said: ”I knew The Godfather was going to be a great film, but at that time I believed Indians should play roles written for Indians and Italians should do the same.”

Other opportunities Nicholson has passed up include Willard in Apocalypse Now, Gordon Gekko in Wall Street and Travis Bickle off of Taxi Driver - in an alternate world somewhere there's footage of Jack going mental in front of a mirror.

Al Pacino
Lead parts in Flashdance, Taxi Driver and The Usual Suspects are all on Pacino's reject pile, but perhaps the least surprising no among them is the role of Han Solo in George Lucas' tiny space opera, Star Wars.

Speaking at the London Palladium earlier this year, the actor revealed "It was mine for the taking but I didn’t understand the script."

Incidentally, Pacino was also offered both Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen's leading roles in Apocalypse Now and Richard Gere's role in Pretty Woman.

Leonardo DiCaprio
The Matrix, Boogie Nights and American Psycho are among the films that DiCaprio has turned down during the course of his illustrious career, but while all of them could've worked out well there's one role in particular that the actor's probably pleased he steered clear of.

Batman Forever.

The actor told ShortList: "I never screen-tested. I had a meeting with Joel Schumacher. It was just one meeting and, no, I didn't end up doing it. As I recall I took the meeting, but didn't want to play the role. Joel Schumacher is a very talented director but I don't think I was ready for anything like that."

Johnny Depp
Depp has taken many iconic roles over the years - those he didn't end up playing include Jonathan Harker, Ferris Bueller, Lestat, Neo and Jack 'King of the World' Dawson.

But, while we're bonafide Jackmanphiles here at Yahoo! Movies, we'd definitely like to live in a world where we could see what kind of wonderful weirdness Depp would've brought to another rejected role - Wolverine.

The actor was reportedly offered the chance to play the beclawed superhero in Bryan Singer's first X-Men movie, and while he would have been totally wrong for the role, Emo Wolvie would've been amazing.

Tom Hanks
We all know that Tom Hanks can do absolutely no wrong, so we fully support his decisions to turn down any part of his choosing - from the role of Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams, to Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption and even Harry off of When Harry Met Sally.

But the rejection we're most pleased about is without a doubt the role of Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting in Martin Scorcese's 2002 drama, Gangs of New York.

Ultimately played by Daniel Day-Lewis, Hanks reportedly passed because the salary wasn't big enough. But let's face it, the role was far too nasty for lovely Tom Hanks, what with all the butchering and murdering and knives and stuff.

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